Marine Water Dog (MOS 1171) or Marine Water Support Technician is responsible for working with water equipment, systems, and storage.
They are the ones who are responsible for assisting with providing clean drinking water when in a deployed scenario.
Marine Water Dogs assist with everything from repairing plumbing to completing water quality analysis.
Qualifications and Training
Those who wish to join the Marines as a Water Support Technician, or Water Dog, must first take the ASVAB.
A minimum score of 95 is required on the Mechanical Maintenance portion of the ASVAB.
Once individuals receive a qualifying ASVAB score, they must meet the height, weight, and body fat requirements.
Next, recruits will be required to meet physical testing standards by passing the Physical Fitness Test and Combat Fitness Test.
Recruits will attend Recruit Training for 13 weeks at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island or Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Finally, recruits will complete the Basic Water Support Technician Course (M031102) at Marine Corps Engineer School, Camp LeJeune, NC.
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What are the Job Tasks of a Water Dog?
Marine Corps Water Support Technician, or Marine Water Dogs, are the individuals who ensure there is clean drinking water in any location.
This can be for the people on base or for a group of displaced civilians in a deployed area.
These Technicians work with different systems and chemicals to complete their work.
Some of the areas that Water Dogs work with include pumps, filtration systems, purification equipment, water storage areas, distribution systems, and laundry/shower facilities.
Within these facilities and systems, Water Support Technicians are in charge of installing, operating and repairing.
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They also perform preventative and corrective maintenance on these areas.
These technicians will conduct and evaluate water surveys, water reconnaissance, and water quality analysis.
The surveys can be routine or can be the result of a concern.
Technicians will be required to establish, maintain and close sanitation systems.
Part of their duties when on a Humanitarian or a Civil Military operation is to plan, install and repair plumbing systems of structures.
When working with plumbing systems, Water Dogs will cut, bend and thread pipes.
They will also be required to join pipes with screws, bolts, fittings, solder and/or plastic solvent.
Water Dogs will complete testing on water.
They are looking for acidity levels, impurities, turbidity, and conductivity.
Technicians ensure the flow of raw water is regulated when mixing it with chemicals for treatment during the filtration/purification process.
They must know how to safely handle and dispose of chemicals or hazardous materials.
Types of chemicals they work with include alum, coagulate, ammonia, chlorine, and lime.
Water Dogs must be familiar with processes such as reverse osmosis because some of their purification systems will use that process.
In addition to making adjustments to water to ensure cleanliness, Water Dogs also clean tanks and filter beds using backwashing.
Once individuals reach Corporal through Staff Sergeant rank, they have an opportunity to attend the Advanced Water Support Technician Course.
This is a skill progression course that teaches on the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and planning for water support.
When in a deployed scenario, and viable drinking water is not available, Water Dogs will use tools such as the Tactical Water Purification System and Light Water Purification System to create clean water.
These highly efficient systems are critical to missions and improvements are constantly being made to increase outputs of both fresh and saltwater.
The systems not only provide drinking water but also water for cooking, to use in sinks, showers or toilets.
The Marines video below explains the process of water purification using the systems mentioned above.
What Does a Water Dog Get Paid?
Marine Water Dogs (MOS 1171) will be paid based on rank.
This Utilities position is entry-level, and Marines can expect to start out around $1800 a month.
After completing training and increasing in rank, pay will increase as well.
The table below provides more information on rank and pay.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private First Class||PFC||$1,943|
|E-9||Master Gunnery Sergeant||MGySgt||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major Of The Marine Corps||SgtMaj||$5,473|
In addition to the pay above, Marines are offered benefits.
Tuition assistance opportunities are available that allow most individuals to attend college for very little cost.
All men and women in the Marines are also provided with housing.
Other benefits include insurance (medical and dental), vacation and retirement.
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Reviews of this position are mostly positive.
Previous Water Support Technicians discuss that the job becomes critical when in a deployed environment.
The reviews mention positive aspects such as being able to provide assistance to others and basic Military aspects such as benefits.
Negative reviews discuss the amount of time in field situations away from home.
The review below discusses skills learned while working in the Marine Corps.
This review provides positive and negative aspects of the position.
The video below shows the importance of the work that Water Dogs perform.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Working as a Marine Water Dog or Water Support Technician provides experience in areas such as plumbing and water purification.
Marines who work in this MOS can find positions as Pipelayers, Pipefitters or Steamfitters that relate to the equipment and plumbing job functions.
Individuals can find work as Water Resource Specialist and Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators that use the skills related to water purification.
Apprenticeship programs through the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) are available that lead to a U.S. Department of Labor Certification as a Journey Worker.
This allows for increased civilian career opportunities.
Marine Water Dog (MOS 1171) or Marine Water Support Technicians, complete water purification processes that provide palatable water to both Military and Civilian personnel.
These individuals perform testing, assist with plumbing installation/repair and complete maintenance on various water systems.
This position requires taking the ASVAB test, physical testing, Recruit Training, and Course work in order to become a Water Dog.
MOS 1171 is entry-level and recruits will be paid based on rank.
Previous Marine Water Dogs recommend the position and the Marine Corps.
Working in this MOS provides the skills necessary to work in civilian plumbing or water purification.
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What is a Marine Water Dog?
A Marine Water Support Technician (Water Dog) works with water equipment, systems, and storage. They’re responsible for providing clean drinking water when in a deployed scenario, repairing plumbing, and completing water quality analysis.
Where is Marine Water Dog School?
After 13 weeks of boot camp, Marine Corps Water dogs complete the Basic Water Support Technician Course at Marine Corps Engineer School, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
How much are Marine Corps Water Dogs paid?
Like all Marine Corps jobs, Water Dogs are paid according to rank and time in service. Currently, a new recruit with less than two years in service will make a base pay of $1,733 per month.
What ASVAB score is required to become a Marine Corps Water Dog?
To become a Marine Corps Water Dog (MOS 1171) you will need a minimum score of 95 on the Mechanical Maintenance portion of the ASVAB.
What can a Marine Water Dog do after service?
Marine Water Dogs (MOS 1171) frequently find jobs in plumbing and water purification after retirement or separation from active duty.